Behind the Wall

I don’t want to.

I hear my sister’s voice.


I am outside,

walking past the darkroom

on the cool, north end

of our father’s photo lab.

It’s shady on this path of lawn. 

Next to the building, a garden bed

spills borage, ferns, and mint,

and on the other side, a walnut tree

touches a brick bench with a wooden back

facing a fire pit with a waist-high brick surround.

Thisis the garden of our childhood—

how lush, how full.

The garden

our father made.


Don’t, my sister says,

and I stop,

taste the sour sound,

catch my breath,

bruised mint touching my summer shorts.

Hilda Weiss is a poet and the co-founder and curator for www.Poetry.LA, a website that features videos of poets and poetry venues in Southern California. Her poetry manuscript, “Seemingly Normal,” was awarded Honorable Mention by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. She has a chapbook, Optimism About Trees, and has been published in journals such as Rattle, Salamander, Spillway, Cultural Weekly, Anti-Heroin Chic and The Comstock Review. She lives in Santa Monica where she grows her own vegetables in a garden full of native California plants. Photo credit: Alexis Rhone Fancher.